'Direct Democracy: An Agenda For A New Model Party' called for the 'denationalisation' of the NHS
Jeremy Hunt co-authored a policy pamphlet that called for the NHS to be replaced by an insurance system.
The 2005 policy book, called Direct Democracy: An Agenda For A New Model Party, was a collection of writings authored by a group of Tory MPs.
Amongst other ideas, the book contained a blueprint for replacing the NHS with an insurance market system – and called for the private sector to be brought in.
The Health Secretary is listed as one of the authors, though he has previously denied that he wrote the chapter on the NHS and says it does not reflect his views.
The book was presented as a whole and chapters are not marked with individual authors, however.
“We should fund patients, either through the tax system or by way of universal insurance, to purchase health care from the provider of their choice,” the book says on page 74.
What does five more years of the Tories mean for Britain?
Welfare payments will be slashedOne of the most controversial parts of the Conservative manifesto was to cut benefits for the working age poor by £12 bn over the next three years. But during the campaign they only said where £2 bn of these savings would come from. That leaves £10 bn still to find. Some experts think the only way they can close that gap is by means testing child benefit – with millions of families losing out Getty
There will be tax cuts for those in work and those who dieThe Tories will increase the threshold at which the 40p rate of tax becomes payable to £50,000 by 2020. They haven’t said so but it is also likely that at some point in the next five years they will abolish that 45p rate of tax altogether for the highest earners. They also want to increase the effective inheritance tax threshold for married couples and civil partners to £1m Getty
There will be an in/out EU referendum in 2017The next two years are going to be dominated by the prospect of a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU. First off David Cameron has the daunting task of negotiating a deal with other EU leaders an acceptable deal that he can sell to his party so he can go into the referendum campaigning for a ‘yes’ vote. This may be unachievable and it is possible that the Tories may end up arguing to leave. Opinion polls show Britain is divided on EU membership, one poll this year showed 51% said they would opt to leave compared to 49% who would vote to stay in Getty
There will be more privatisation of the NHSHaving won the election the Tories now have a mandate to go further and faster reforming the NHS. In order to make cost savings there is likely to be greater private involvement in running services, while some smaller hospitals may lose services they currently provide like A&E and maternity units Getty
There will be many more free schools – and traditional state schools will become a thing of the pastThe Tories plans to create 500 new free schools and make 3,000 state schools become academies. They will also carry on reforming the Department of Education and remove more powers from local authorities over how schools are run Getty
On shore wind farms will be a thing of the past and fracking will be the futureGovernment spending on renewable energy is under real threat now the Lib Dems are no longer in power with the Tories. Subsidies are likely to be slashed for off-shore wind farm and other green energy supplies. Meanwhile there will be generous tax break for fracking as ministers try and incentivise the industry to drill for onshore oil and gas Getty
There maybe more free childcare – but not necessarilyIn the campaign the Tories pledged to double the amount of free early education for three- and four-year-olds from 15 hours a week to 30. The extra hours would only be offered to working families where parents are employed for at least eight hours a week. However they have not said where the money will come from to fund the pledge Getty
Workers' rights could be reducedThe Tories want to slash business regulation, merge regulator and cut costs. The Lib Dems stopped them from reducing the employment rights of workers in power – but these are now under threat Getty
It adds on page 78: “Our ambition should be to break down the barriers between private and public provision, in effect denationalising the provision of health care in Britain.”
Put together by Douglas Carswell, the book’s authors also included Tory MPs Michael Gove, Daniel Hannan, Greg Clark, David Gauke, and Kwasi Kwarteng.
The pamphlet briefly shot to fame in 2012, when Mr Hunt’s appointment as Health Secretary prompted Labour to highlight the book’s contents.
Then Shadow Health Secretary wrote a letter to Mr Hunt.
Jeremy Hunt squirms as Andrew Marr reads letters from junior doctors
“Patients and staff will have serious concerns about these remarks and have a right to know whether you remain of this view,” he asked at the time.
Mr Hunt has since repeatedly said he believes in the principles of the NHS. He says the Conservatives are “the party of the NHS”.
The book can be read in full online here.